Yeah I should've mentioned in my other post Ellis has also IMO moved up the chart. Curious to see how Boucher comes out because I think we're watching our new back up. He hasn't been flashy, just solid.
Wonder how well they'd play if Skinner was with them. Calder cup, here we come!
Agreed. They might not be the most talented team in the AHL this year (that's probably OKC), but they could very easily be the deepest. Adding Rask, and now that he's hopefully out of his funk Welsh, turns the weakest part of last years Checkers into a non-issue.
Rissanen - Faulk
Jordan - Sanguinetti
Gragnani - Bellemore
... that's just crazy. That's like some 06 Canes type depth, but basically adding not just a #1 dman but arguably the AHL's best dman in Faulk. I know some Oilers fans would argue that Schultz is better, we'll see how he holds up defensively in comparison to Faulk. Both kids are crazy good, but Faulk's FAR more proven at this point despite being younger.
I think Justin Shultz may have something to say about that "best defender in the AHL", comment. Faulk is incredible, but Shultz is really showing ridiculously in the AHL. Either way, glad that we can claim that we have a horse in that race.
All the people that were crowing the Barons didn't really realize the importance of AHL veterans. This Charlotte team may be cumulatively less talented, but they have AHL veterans that know how to score in Boychuk, Dalpe, Samson, etc. who aren't nearly as good in the NHL as guys like RNH and others but know what to expect in this climate. I think it's safe to say that 50 NHL points does not equal 150 AHL points. That kind of thinking is just silly.
It's not just AHL veterans, but quality depth. The Barons have quality players at every position, but they lack that next level of depth beyond their top 4/6. The Checkers have guys on their 3rd pairing/lines that could easily be top 6ers on a lot of AHL teams. Hell, Dalpe and Bowman could be top liners on most AHL teams. And the defense, despite the flaws that might keep guys like Gragnani, Jordan, and Bellemore from ever making the NHL on a full time basis, is extremely competent for the AHL.
a team full of B/B+'s is gonna beat a team of 3 or 4 A's and a bunch of C's. i agree with what dave said. all our 2-3 year ahl vets came out of the gate flying and have figured out how to be productive in this league and are feeding off each other. nhl kids have to learn the pace, skill isnt enough. i agree with vagrant on the shultz talk. kids a stud. faulk is offensively great, and at this level he gets away with skating everything out of his end, and with some of his dangerous pinches as well. shultz has some impressive poise and thinks the game well, he just looks more developed. obviously a little age helps.
rask is getting better. pts are pts, but he looked a lot more at ease last game. i think hes is settling into the pace and figuring out where he can be aggressive. he is looking legit to be the top of the list of all these guys. bowman has figured out when to shoot, and he shoots so hard that hes shooting through some of these guys. other than that though he doesnt have a ton of game, not a great playmaker, dangler, checker. he can be useful at the next level but he'll need someone to set him up. terry is small but can be a good utility guy, samson could chip in at any level but dominate none. boychuk and dalpe have different styles but similar results, and don't look like more than third line scoring guys (though that can be useful). rask has the nhl skill level and brain. i still think he can be somewhere along the lines of a layman's stastny/berglund. those two lack quickness, but are smart enough to find space for themselves.
welsh is still a bit of a hot mess out there, though he looked better for sure. i think gragnani is gonna get a good look from us when the season starts, hes smooth on his feet. sangs is so gangly.